3rd December, a date when the world has witnessed many tragedies that are hard to forget. One of those tragic incidents was the demise of Major Dhyan Chand, ” The Wizard of Hockey.” None has been so popular and magical as him in the history of hockey.
His extraordinary game skills have won the heart of the entire world including one of the world’s brutal dictators, Adolf Hilter who once gave him a golden opportunity to become the Colonel after losing in the Berlin Olympics 1936. Dhyan Chand refused his offer which further brought humiliation to Hilter.
This is just one part of his incredible journey as the greatest hockey player of all time. Have a look at more such interesting facts below.
7 Interesting Facts About The Hockey Wizard
1. National Sports Day
The world remembers Dhyan Chand’s birth anniversary as the National Sports Day of India that falls on 29 August when the President of India gives Dronacharya awards, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, and Arjuna award to the players.
2. Dhyan Singh To Dhyan Chand
His fellow players gave him the nickname “Chand” because he used to practice the game only during the nights during his days in the Indian Army which he joined when he was just 16. He is also remembered as the “The Wizard” and ” The Magician.”
3. When He Missed A Goal
Do you know that once this hockey wizard missed a goal? Sounds unbelievable! Even Dhyan Chand didn’t believe that and argued with the referee regarding the goal post’s width. Later, it was found that the width of the goal post was not as per the international protocols.
4. He Didn’t Like Sports
At the early stage of his life before joining the Indian Army, Dhyan Chand had no interest in sports except wrestling. But, the destination leads him to the field of hockey where Subedar Major Bale Tiwari noticed his magical gameplay skills.
5. When His Hockey Stick Was Broken
The unbeatable skills of Major Dhyan Chand were hard to swallow for every other player on the field. Everybody believed that there was something wrong with his hockey stick.
So, the hockey authorities of the Netherlands probe his hockey stick and broke it into two pieces to check whether there’s a magnet inside or it’s just Dhyan Chand’s hockey skills were a gift from God.
6. Olympic Legend Map Got His Name On It
Do you know that there is a tube station in London after Dhyan Chand’s name? The London transport had launched an ‘Olympic Legend Map’ in 2012 to honor the greatest athletes in the history of the Olympics.
The Watford Junction was one of the 361 stations that were renamed after famous athletes. It’s now called Dhyanchand Station London.
7. Goals In His Entire Hockey Career
Right from his first goal in the 1936 Olympics to the last-minute goals to win the Punjab Indian Infantry tournament, every goal is worth watching. In his 22 spans of hockey journey from 1926 to 1948, he scored 400 goals, and watching him scoring was not less like the magic that time.
Major Dhyan Chand gave 3 gold medals to India in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, and the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1956, the same year when he retired from hockey.
Major Dhyan Chand died in 1979 on 3rd December after developing liver cancer.